Monger of Life
(after Marsden Hartley’s “Fishmonger,” and Fish House)
She took the crumbs
from off the loaves of the sky.
She made fins from the wings of the phoenix.
She made eyes from the lashes of the Passion Flower.
She took flushes from the Tiger Lily.
From all these, she fashioned two fishes,
set them swimming in a hungry Jerusalem sea.
She sat back, watching them multiply
watched their brightness return,
their hearing sharpen.
They take more with them than crumbs,
They are more beautiful to her than home,
as close as the sound of nails.